CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Queens Terrace condominium building along Queens Road in Charlotte dates back to 1910. It is a quintessential brick apartment building, converted to condos in 1971.
"We get a lot of first time people because they see how nice we do our places," James Funderburk said standing in the condo where he once lived in. He now owns six of the building's eight units and rents them out for a minimum three-night stay. The idea came to him during his own travels.
"We were in Istanbul in 2010. We rented an apartment and we loved it and then we came back to Charlotte and did that with one of our own rentals and we listed on airbnb.com," he explained.
The website www.airbnb.com started in 2008 as a way to list extra space. It is now home to accommodations in more than 19,000 cities worldwide. There are more than 80 properties listed in Charlotte, including the Myers Park condos and seven others Funderburk and Jim Hock own in Dilworth.
"We've got 13 now and so we have a variety of one bedroom and two bedrooms, one and two baths and we just love hosting people," he said.
Funderburk chatted with NewsChannel 36 in a two bedroom unit not because it was his nicest unit, but because it was the only one not occupied at the time. He actually has 16 properties if you count some that rent for longer periods, like 30 days or more.
"Our average stay is probably around 10 days or two weeks," he said. But he does have guests who stay longer. Some are in town on business, others are wintering here where temperatures are milder than home, and one recent visitor was in town for the birth of a grandchild.
"When people arrive, there are English muffins and orange juice. Or if they come in late there is some spaghetti sauce and spaghetti here for them and maybe some chilled wine in the fridge," explained Funderburk.
Prices for the rental condos are often less than a typical hotel, especially when you consider the amount of space you get. "We have one bedrooms that start at about $135 a night."
Prices go up to about $210 a night for a top-of-the-line two bedroom.
"A lot of times we'll have parents and their children and grandchildren traveling together," he said.
Funderburk and Hock now have their own website, www.thehomecollectionclt.com. And maybe no surprise, every one of the couple's properties is booked for the Democratic National Convention in September.
Before you rent your property, though, there are things to consider.
"We can do it because we control the buildings that our properties are in and we do everything legally and we pay taxes just like a hotel or motel does and so it is not allowed by most condominium associations," he added.
It pays to check with your condominium or homeowners association, or if you're in an apartment, your landlord, to see if short term rentals are allowed.
"We've had people come to us who were staying in a condominium on airbnb.com who got kicked out by their homeowners association," he noted.
"This is not something every property owner or renter can do," he said. But for him and Hock, all the cleaning, laundry and re-stocking are worth it, especially when it gives guests a different take on a city these two proudly call home.
"What is so wonderful is that Jim and I get so many thank you notes from people who have stayed with us."